Porcello Getting Hit Hard In 2017: Twins Have Value at Home

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, May 6, 2017 1:46 PM UTC

Saturday, May. 6, 2017 1:46 PM UTC

Our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, like the home dog in this matchup between the Twins and Red Sox. Here he spots two pitchers with completely opposite batted ball profiles as he makes his Saturday MLB Pick.

It’s breakfast and baseball in Minnesota on Saturday morning, as the Boston Red Sox come to town for a 3-game series. Even though the Twins have a better winning percentage coming into Friday’s game, and a higher run differential, they look to be moneyline underdogs at home in each of the three games. With Boston’s 4-6 away record, this could be a spot in which one of those ‘dog chase’ methods of betting a series could play well, as it is unlikely that the Twins get swept at home. This game has opened with an early line favoring the Red Sox at -148 at BetOnline, while the O/U total has opened at 9.5 with a -125 shade to the Under.

Minnesota will not be without its challenges though in avoiding a sweep. A poor run of starting pitching has their bullpen taxed. They will turn to just recently called up Nick Tepesch to start this game. He’s been stretched out as a starter in AAA to start the season so the move makes sense. Tepesch missed all of 2015 due to injury and was finally cut loose by the Rangers in 2016 – bouncing around to the A’s, Royals, and Dodgers for the rest of the year. Tepesch has pitched well in AAA for the Twins, putting up a 2.00 ERA over 18 innings pitched and averaging six innings per start. He’s always been a ground ball specialist and counts on weak contact to get batters out. His hard-hit ball percentages are low, which offsets the amount of balls that are pulled off of him. Think of weak, rolled-over ground balls to the left side of the infield and you have the result that Tepesch is looking for against batters.

Rick Porcello starts this game for the Red Sox and he has been getting squared up quite often this year. Compiling a 1-4 record over six starts and 4.14 FIP, it is Porcello’s spike in hard-hit rate to 39.5% that should have Boston fans concerned. It is not a surprise then that he is posting his highest HR/FB% in his career at 15.2%. He is allowing a .286 batting average to right-handers on the year, which will allow quite a few teams to stack advantageous lineups against him.

As has often been the case this year, I will turn to the run line home underdog for wagering value in a matchup that is more of a toss-up in my mind than in the betting public’s. We can currently wager on the Twins +1.5 at home for just -125 at BetOnline right now, which is what I will do to get my Saturday MLB card rolling.

Free MLB Picks: Twins +1.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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